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Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus
Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus
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Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus
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Walter Skakun - Conductor
Board of Directors
Artistic Committee
Past Conductors


The following members make up the Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus.

First Tenors
Myles Burdeniuk
Myron Burdeniuk
Scott Chabluk
Jim Dudych
Lawrence Grzenda
Markian McColl
Chris Rawluk
Mark Shawarsky
Harry Szkwarek
Second Tenors
Ivas Chabluk
Don Cilinsky
Bennie Gusnowsky
Gary Lukie
Ivan Maluzynsky
Myron Radawetz
Simeon Rusnak
Christopher Sklepowich
Julian Burdeniuk
Ihor Holovko
Mark Karpa
Ken Kuchma
Mike Labay
Brian Lukie
Bill Chabluk
Mikhas Chabluk
Tom Dudych
Alex Hryndzio
Vasyl' Maluzynsky
Roman Szczerba
Mark Turman

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William Soloman - ConductorWalter Skakun - Conductor
2016 – present

Walter Skakun, a self-taught choir conductor, grew up in a Ukrainian farming community in Central Saskatchewan.  His father was the conductor of a Ukrainian Church choir, a Ukrainian community choir, and a lifelong promoter of Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian cultural events.  He was Walter's first and greatest cultural influence.

Upon coming to Winnipeg, Walter became involved with various choral groups - church choirs, University of Manitoba Chorus, Manitoba Opera Chorus, Millennium Choir, Dumka Choir, and Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus.

In 1990, Walter was asked to assume the position of conductor of the Dumka Choir and served in this position for the next 18 years.  What was present in great abundance within that group was a profound love for the Ukrainian culture expressed through song.  It was this strong, unrelenting passion within the group which kept Walter motivated to continue as conductor through the 18 years.

In May of 1998, Walter accepted an invitation form the Washington Chamber Ensemble to perform with them as tenor soloist at Carnegie Hall in New York, and a second invitation in December 1998 to perform with the ensemble at The White House in Washington, DC.  When he received these invitations, his memory went back to a one-room country school, where, in about the fourth grade, Walter saw a picture of The White House in a social studies text book, and wondered what it would be like to actually see such a place.  This memory from his youth inspired him to select a Ukrainian piece of music to perform at both occasions - an arrangement of “Вислухаий Боже„ by M. Федорів.

In January 2009, Walter accepted an invitation to join Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus as a choir member, and was soon appointed as the group’s Assistant Conductor.  After a brief break, Walter graciously accepted Hoosli’s invitation to return as the principal Conductor of Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus in July 2016.

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Board of Directors

Christopher Sklepowich (Chair)
Wally Lytwyn (Vice-Chair)
MaryAnn Labay (Secretary)
Julian Burdeniuk (Treasurer)
Bill Chabluk (Member Rep)
Myron Burdeniuk
Dan Chase
Yvonne Hawryliuk
Donna Korban
Mike Labay
Gerry May
Michael Rawluk

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Artistic Committee

Myles Burdeniuk
Tom Dudych
Yvonne Hawryliuk
Ken Kuchma
Walter Skakun
Christopher Sklepowich

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Past Conductors
Since 1969, Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus has been directed by five skilled conductors and included over 170 members in its ranks, contributing to song, music and dance.

Walter Zulak Walter Zulak
Conductor: 1969-1980

Inspired by the talent and dedication of Dr. Paul Macenko, his choir director at St. Vladimir's College, Walter Zulak, with a handful of graduates, formed the St. Vladimir's College Alumni Choir. As a student of St. Vladimir's, Walter acquired a great love of Ukrainian music by singing in the College choir. He was also very fortunate to be selected by Dr. Macenko to attend private lessons to learn the art of directing a choir. Dr. Macenko not only taught him many intricate techniques, but also spoke of the music and history of the many composers.

Walter directed Hoosli from 1969 to 1980, when he left with his family, to live in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Although distance separated him from the boys he loved, he kept in touch and would attend their performances whenever possible.


Michael Zakaluzny

Michael Zakaluzny
Conductor: 1980-1985

After graduating from St. Vladimir's College in the summer of 1973, Michael Zakaluzny joined Hoosli as a member of the baritone section. Because of Michael's musical background, Walter Zulak approached him to assume responsibilities as choir director, when Walter moved from Winnipeg in 1980. Michael's task was enormous in that he had to maintain repertoire and membership while "learning the ropes" through on-the-job training.

Michael obtained assistance and expertise from individuals such as Tom Sobkow and Brian Cherwick, and, with them, instigated the team concept of direction for Hoosli. The team efforts revitalized Hoosli and achieved numerous successes throughout Michael's tenure as choir director. With the introduction of William Solomon as choral director in 1985, Michael assumed the role as assistant choral director, and, as such, maintained his role as an artistic team member.


Michael Ryczak

Michael Ryczak
Conductor: 2002-2005

Michael Ryczak began his musical training with accordion lessons at the age of five, and enjoyed a childhood enriched by many gifted Ukrainian music and dance teachers in Winnipeg, including his godfather, a fine baritone and violinist. By the age of fourteen, Michael had become an accomplished accordionist, and had taught himself to play the piano, organ, violin, viola and guitar. He played and acted in many school productions. He was a member of the 'Homyn' youth orchestra and toured North America with the Chai Folk Ensemble.

While in junior high school, Michael began to play the organ, as well as cantor for church weddings. Weekends were spent playing a variety of other instruments and singing in several popular dance bands. After university, in 1979, he formed the 'New Life Singers', a folk group which sang many liturgical services in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 1981, he was appointed Musical Director of St. Vladimir's College in Roblin, Manitoba, where he conducted and managed concert tours to many parts of Western Canada.

In 1987, Michael was invited to join Hoosli as a singer, and soon became the choir's musical accompanist. In 1991, Michael became the Associate Conductor of the Hoosli Ukrainian Folk Ensemble, and was appointed the full time Conductor and Artistic Director in 2002. Michael also conducts the St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church Choir in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Walter Zulak

William Solomon
Conductor: 1985 – 2002, 2005 – 2016

William Solomon, himself blessed with a rich baritone voice, was born in Fork River, Manitoba. Upon being exposed to the music and culture of his Ukrainian heritage while growing up in the Gilbert Plains and Dauphin areas, he began his music career as a boy soprano in the Manitoba Music Festival.

In 1947, he moved to Winnipeg and attended St. Andrews College where he participated in ethnic and religious choral music and also demonstrated his talent in the Ukrainian dance art form, serving as lead dancer and instructor. His primary interest has always been in choral music, however, and in 1949, he became a member of the Ukrainian Male Chorus conducted by Walter Bohonos, with whom he furthered his vocal training.

In developing his career in music, Bill also performed with numerous other Winnipeg-based choirs, including the Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir, a sextet known and the "Continentals" and the Canadian Ukrainian Youth Association choir and dance ensemble which he organized and conducted. He was invited to join the Kerr Wilson Male Voice Choir, expanded his vocal training under the tutorship of Kerr Wilson, and became a member of the renowned O. Koshetz Mixed Choir under the direction of Walter Klymkiw. He later assumed the position of conductor of that choir's male contingent and in 1981, became conductor of the Holy Trinity Cathedral Youth Choir while also leading the Cathedral Ladies Chorus.

In 1985, Bill accepted an invitation to conduct the Hoosli Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus.

William Solomon nurtured his extensive musical talent by training under the maestri mentioned earlier, as well as A. Avdievsky from Ukraine. By virtue of that good fortune and his love for the choral aspect of his cultural heritage, he is committed to excellence in presenting the art form to the public.

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Cory Anderson Jim Keller Ted Perich
Ken Bailey +Gary Kinaschuk Dave Phil
Gregory Balak Mike Klym Merv Picklyk
Andrij Bereznycky Julian Klymkiw Mark Procyshyn
Victor Bodnarchuk +Mike Kohaykewych Merv Prosak
Dave Bodykevich Cory Kohut Matthew Prychun
+Peter Bohdanowycz Jim Kohut Mike Rawluk
+Nestor Bohonos Terry Kolomaya Ken Romaniuk
Hon. Don Bryk Jay Korban Patrick Romano
Tom Bryk Tom Koroluk Peter Rudiak
Rev. Archpriest Dr. Jaroslaw Buciora Bob Kosc Michael Ryczak
John Budyk Dave Kosc Walter Saranchuk
Ken Budyk Ken Kosc Andrijko Semaniuk
Nestor Budyk Henry Kotyk Roman Semaniuk
Colin Burdeniuk Peter Kowal +Cecil Semchyshyn
Gerard Bzdel Ron Kozak Wayne Senick
Edward Carriere Peter Krasny Andy Seniuk
Brian Cherwick Dennis Krawec Oleh Shawarsky
Rev. Fr. Lt. Col. Terry Cherwick Alex Kryschuk Fr. John Sianchuk
Hon. Dave Chomiak Peter Kubish John Sirdar
Joe Coffey Roman Kukura Nick Sirdar
Orest Deneka Terry Kulyk Wally Skakun
Russ Dorosh Walter Kulyk Donald Sobkow
Joe Dudych Myron Kurjewicz Tom Sobkow
+Joe Dudych Mike Kuzyk Greg Solomon
Walter Dudych Myron Kuzyk Terry Solomon
Andy Duplak Patrick Kuzyk William Solomon
Stefan Duplak Tim Kuzyk George Stolarskyj
Bill Roman Evanochko Danny Lega Marc Storozuk
Zenon Fedory Leo Luch Terry Stychyshyn
Andrew Galarnyk Russ Luch Stephen Sumka
Bohdan Gembarsky Paul Luchko Tim Swynar
Steve Gembarsky Mike Luczka +Walter Szutiak
Peter Gnutel Al Lukie John Tanner
Dan Gusztak Chris Lukie Jerome Thoms
Leo Gusztak Ron Lukie Greg Udod
Clare Hadewich Tim Lukie Dennis Wawrykow
Myron Halayda Walter Lytwyn Garrett Wazny
Ray Hancharuk Andrew Maksymetz Ronald Wizniak
Mark Harapiak Dennis Maksymetz Gregory Yakimischak
Colin Hardy Nathan Mandziuk Dan Yarko
Hon. Ben Hewak John Mayba Bohdan Zajcew
+Walter Hewak Paul Mayba Mike Zakaluzny
Ihor Hluszok Andrew Misiak +Bob Zaporozan
Ihor Holinka Joe Mushaluk Taras Zaporozan
Ihor Holowczynsky Greg Musick Very Rev. Dr. Greg Zubacz
+Denis Jacques Danylo Myhal Bill Zulak
Dave Jandrish Tim Osachuk Walter Zulak
+Mel Kaban Mark Patson  

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© Hoosli Ukrainian Folk Ensemble Inc. All Rights Reserved.
C-1155 Main Street | PO Box 3632 | Winnipeg MB R2W 5M3
Contact us at hoosli@gmail.com
Celebrating 40 years of Spirit & Song